Well, why not make your own after dinner mints? I have discovered a few reasons why not, but I’m sure that in the fullness of time I’ll be able to overcome them. Because I do love a good after dinner mint.
In my search for likely recipes I once again marveled at the sheer range of ways to make after dinner mints. Again, the Americans have a whole different idea of what these constitute, I even found an Oprah sponsored recipe involving cream cheese. There was one that I’ve filed for future reference called Butter Mints, two of my favourite flavours, but that will wait for another day.
I’ve used a recipe I found on the British Delicious Magazine website. It’s pretty simple. Melt one hundred grams of dark chocolate in a double boiler. Spread it over baking paper in a 20 by 28 cm baking tin. Stick it in the fridge to harden. Make a peppermint fondant by mixing one egg white with 110 grams of icing sugar and a tablespoon of peppermint essence, then mixing in a further 110 grams of icing sugar. They suggest colouring it with a drop of green food colouring, but we are above such things. Spread this on the chocolate layer, then whack this in the fridge. When that has set, spread on a further 100 grams of melted dark chocolate, and back to the fridge it goes.
That’s all well and good, but then what do you do with a large sheet of after dinner mint? The magazine suggests placing on the dinner table and encouraging your friends to have at it with sharp implements. I wanted to take it to a party, so I broke it up with a knife, which may not have been the best idea. It didn’t help that the day of the party was a jillion degrees with one hundred percent humidity, which meant than even after freezing the things, they were an unattractive, but delicious, sticky mess, the remnants of which can be seen here:
Even by my low decorating standards, these were unacceptable. They did get eaten, though. I have found that after a couple of days in the fridge they have dried out a lot, so though they look sticky, they are not. I’m going to have another crack at these, I might investigate a more solid fondant and consider cutting them up with a hot knife and a lot more patience. Actually what would work is hot piano wire, but my piano wire is currently in use inside the piano. I’ll have to violate someone else’s piano.